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With S for Synod = with S for following

November 2, 2023

Echoes from Rome

We have completed the first Assembly of the Synod of Synodality that began on October 21, 2021.

It is an end of a stage that opens the way to the next one, already announced for October 2024. It is time to take stock of these intense weeks, as we recalled less than a month ago when we talked about it.

We have been progressing at a good pace although the work has been hard. The Instrumentum Laboris, the starting point of the Assembly, had several chapters with its many and varied questions open to many issues of today’s life.

We were advancing in the methodology of conversation in the Spirit that was becoming connatural to us and that helped us to work with silence, prayer and discernment.

Each week we have changed groups, as we finish one module and start the next.

On the same day, we celebrated the Eucharist in St. Peter’s Basilica in different languages and in different contexts.

We have grown to know each other, the relationships between us have allowed us great natural cordiality, great freedom of expression and great respect to listen and be listened to.

This possibility of opening the door of the Synodal Hall to a good number of non-bishops has broadened our minds and hearts.

We have felt like a universal church, without losing our sense of wonder at the enormous variety of contexts that exist in our world.

Pauline theology was becoming very palpable every day: there is only one Body with many members, all different but all necessary. We have experienced a strong communion with this wealth of very different exchanges, not without moments of tension in the face of sometimes opposing positions.

Now the door is still open because although we have left the Aula, the synodality continues.

The final document is a synthesis of all that has been experienced, but it is of a provisional or transitory nature, as it is also called, and it encourages us to continue on the road to conclude in a year’s time.

This document will go back to the local churches, through the Bishops’ Conferences, and the contributions received will be the starting point for the 2024 Assembly .

Before saying goodbye, we also spent some time in small groups and presented to the Assembly methods and stages that we believe can be followed in the coming months.

The invitation, like the door of the Aula, remains open so that we can continue to enrich this document from the different realities, experiencing the active and real belonging to the church and therefore offering our best gifts.

And as we affirmed in the Letter to the People of God “we hope that the months that separate us from the second session will allow everyone to participate in the dynamism of the missionary communion indicated in the word synod”.

María Luisa Berzosa FI